RIP Tony Bellamy

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by RGB, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    He was a friend of ours and jammed with us when he was in town. He had been ill for awhile, but this still comes as an unhappy surprise.

    Did anyone else here know Tony or the Redbone guys?

    REDBONE'S TONY BELLAMY
    PASSES ON AT AGE 69



    New York, NY. The Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.)
    organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Redbone's
    Anthony Bellamy, who has died on Christmas morning, December 25th, 2009
    in Las Vegas, Nevada with his family by his side. Anthony, or Tony
    "T-Bone" Bellamy, who was inducted into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame with
    Redbone in 2008 at the Tenth Annual Native American Music Awards, was a
    Mexican-American Yaqui Indian who became the lead guitarist, pianist and
    vocalist for the Native American band, Redbone. He was a beloved and
    endearing friend of the "Nammys" since its inception, and will be
    greatly missed.

    Redbone became established as a Native American rock group in the
    1970s. They reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1974
    with the hit song, "Come and Get Your Love."

    Originally formed in 1969 in Los Angeles, California by brothers
    Patrick Vasquez (bass and vocals) and Lolly Vasquez (guitar and vocals),
    the name Redbone started as a joking reference to a Cajun term for a
    mixed-race person. The band's members were of mixed blood ancestry.

    According to Patrick Vasquez aka Pat Vegas, it was Jimi Hendrix who
    talked the musicians into forming an all-Native American rock group and
    so they signed as the band Redbone to Epic Records in 1969. The band
    consisted of Patrick Vasquez, Lolly Vasquez, drummer Pete DePoe and
    Anthony "Tony" Bellamy. Their debut album Redbone was released in 1970.

    Redbone played primarily rock music with R&B, Cajun, Jazz, tribal and
    Latin roots. Their first commercial success was with the single,
    "Maggie" from their second album, Potlatch, in 1970. Two other hit
    singles would follow; "The Witch Queen of New Orleans" in 1971, which
    went to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and their greatest hit song to
    date, "Come and Get Your Love" in 1974, which went to #5 on the
    Billboard Hot 100. "Come and Get Your Love", stayed in the Billboard
    charts for 24 weeks, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. on
    April 22, 1974.

    Tony Bellamy grew up in a family of dancers and musicians and learned
    to play the flamenco guitar as part of his musical education. Before
    joining the band Redbone, Tony Bellamy had performed with Dobie Gray,
    and a was a member of the San Francisco band, Peter and the Wolves, that
    evolved into the psychedelic band Moby Grape.

    In 1998, Tony Bellamy and Patrick Vasquez attended and performed as
    Redbone at the First Native American Music Awards held at the Foxwoods
    Casino & Resort.

    On October 3, 2008, Tony Bellamy and Patrick Vasquez attended the 10th
    Annual Native American Music Awards at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino
    in Niagara Falls, NY as special guests to accept Redbone's induction
    into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame.

    Born as Anthony Avila, Tony Bellamy died at age 69.

    N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency would like extend their
    condolences to the Bellamy family. N.A.M.A. will forever honor this
    legendary performer who has been both a leading force in the mainstream
    music industry and an inspiration to the Native American community.
     
  2. Echo Are

    Echo Are Member

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    When I saw the thread title I thought, is it the Tony Bellamy who played in Redbone? I couldn't remember what instrument he played, though. Anyway, it's sad that he died.

    I haven't heard too many Redbone songs, except mainly their hits. The Vegas brothers had been in the music biz for many years before they even formed Redbone. I really like "The Witch Queen Of New Orleans".

     
  3. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Tony and Lolly played guitar. Tony was usually seen dressed in native gear on stage. Lolly had a stroke over ten years ago when they were in Milwaukee for Indian Summerfest. Our friend, "Fat Mike" Dillhunt, also gone for over ten years now, filled in for Lolly at that show.

    Thanks for the video post, EA.
     
  4. Alvis

    Alvis Supporting Member

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    The Bone is always gettin regular play in this house !
    Have to blast some today
    I dug how they has "assigned" Leslie guitar and wah wah guitar
     
  5. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Tony is the dancer and playing the Strat in this clip...I remember watching this as a kid when it originally aired. I remember Lolly soloing with a ring modulator too...don't hear that much these days!

     
  6. Bob Maximus

    Bob Maximus Supporting Member

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    Love the bass groove in that clip.
     
  7. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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  8. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Sorry for your loss, man. That bites.
     
  9. frankencat

    frankencat Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    RIP Tony. Condolences to friends and family.
     
  10. Rama

    Rama Member

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    That saddens me...my brother-in-law is Full blood Cherokee and I helped his cross over a little while back..a very spiritual experience..always dug that band.
     
  11. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts, guys...our drummer is an Oneida and we've been friends and bandmates for well over 20 years, so I've had a lot of exposure to their culture. I'm most impressed by their spirituality and their commitment to community.

    Sorry to hear about your loss as well, Rama.
     
  12. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the post, jazz...and please offer my sincere condolences to Reno.
     
  13. JMPRO

    JMPRO Member

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    I knew Tony way back in the old days in Santa Ana. We worked together in the "Messingers" for about a year. He did bass and vocals during that year and I had guitar duties. That was about 64 or so. I am wondering if they got his age wrong. I was always under the impression he was younger than I. I don't think he was 69. Tony's cousins are the Rillera brothers, Butch and Barry. Butch was also the drummer in Redbone and his brother Barry the Musical director and guitar player for the "Righteous Brothers" for 30 or 40 years. Tony was a gifted guitar player but had troubles most of his adult life that perhaps got in the way of him becoming a big star. I last saw him about 10 years ago at a jam where he was very kind to let an old duff like me sit in and show off my limited skills. Tony did some very nice guitar work on an blues album By Barry Rillera called " From where I stand" I think CD Baby has it.
    The loss of Tony is a shame and it just makes one think about how old we are getting.
    JMPRO
     
  14. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I had hoped to find someone just like you with this thread, JM. I figured with all of the members here there had to be someone who had known Tony way back when.

    Thanks for the info...I'll check out the album you suggested.
     
  15. JMPRO

    JMPRO Member

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    The album is mostly Barry but if you know Tonys playing you can hear where he steps out.
    JMPRO
     

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